Tree Frog Forestry News

Are young trees or old forests more important for slowing climate change?

By Tom Pugh, University of Birmingham
The Conversation UK
July 30, 2020
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

…How does a world in which forests are getting younger and shorter fit with one where they are also growing faster and taking up more CO₂? Are old or young forests more important for slowing climate change? …Overall, both young and old forests play important roles in slowing climate change. Both are taking up CO₂, primarily because there is more CO₂ about. Young forests take up a bit more, but this is largely an accident of history. The extra carbon uptake we get from having a relatively youthful forest will diminish as that forest ages. …But it’s important to separate the question of uptake from that of storage. The world’s big, old forests store an enormous amount of carbon, keeping it out of the atmosphere, and will continue to do so, even if their net CO₂ uptake decreases.

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